I have found, over the past two weeks, that it is easier to ignore all the details and feelings about our infertility issues than it is to deal with them. It’s a pretty standard coping mechanism for me, and I’m aware it’s likely to bite me on the ass. The thing is, I’m trying very hard to be ok. Ok for my Husband, ok for my friends, ok to finish school, ok for my patients…
And i’m having trouble with it. Every time I peek into the mental space surrounding my disappointment that IUI didn’t work, I get choked up and if it starts i’m not sure i’ll be able to stop it. Certainly not in a timely manner, and I don’t have time to sit in a puddle of my own tears.
And I don’t especially want to MAKE time either. I know eventually I am going to have to deal with this, but I think I keep hoping that i’ll just get pregnant and never have to actually experience any of this pain, if I can just put it off for long enough. Delayed dissatisfaction, if you will.
Even as I sit here trying to evaluate where i’m at, i’m avoiding thinking about it to any depth. A friend of mine asked how that stuff was going yesterday and I started to talk about it, managed to make a few flippant comments and give the bare info to update, and then I felt my throat start to close, and I changed the subject. I just don’t want to evaluate how I feel about this.
I think I keep glancing over at the issue, thinking that maybe just leaning into the sorrow would be cathartic. But i’m not ready. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready.
There are lots of posts crossing my facebook feed today about mothers day, and many of them acknowledge that mothers day is hard for some people – whether because they have lost their own mother, because they are a mother who has lost a child, or they are like me, and desperately want to be a mother and are endlessly frustrated that it hasn’t happened.
The thing is, mothers day is hard. It’s one of those weird hallmark holidays (literally, it started as one woman’s desire to honour her dead mother, and was quickly overrun by crass commercialism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day, much to the founders chagrin) But it is everywhere, and not acknowledging it is somehow churlish. I emailed and called my Mum. But I get tired of the gushing on social media, so other than a cursory check, I try to avoid it for a few days either side. I know that no one is intentionally rubbing it in anyone elses face, but in the same way that I personally don’t enjoy constant effusive statements of love for ones partner all over social media (I unfollow those people), I don’t love seeing all the mothers day posts.
I choose to insulate myself from it by logging off for a few days, which seems like the responsible thing to do. I have no expectation of anyone else changing their behaviours to suit me. By Wednesday the majority will be done, and my facebook page will be back to the standard irreverent memes and adorable pet videos I have carefully curated through the FB algorithm. But today, today I choose to absent myself, because it is no one else’s responsibility to protect me, but it is my responsibility to protect myself, and the barrage of images of new mums, happy births, and friends etc. with their children is more than I can take today.
All my love to anyone else who has the same experience.
IUI round 1 didn’t work. On the plus side, knowing that we had two viable eggs, the sperm in the right place, and the timing perfect meant I realize, finally, that this is not my fault. For five years each month our failure to conceive has felt like all my fault – like my body failed, and couldn’t make it happen. This month we gave it everything we had, and every opportunity we could, and still nothing happened.
According to all the fun google has to offer(including google scholar), 3xIUI is the max, then you need to move on, so we still have two more. But we need a month off. We need to have a month where sex is for fun, and my joints don’t ache due to a fertility drug that started as a cancer chemo treatment.
This month will be devoted to self support: exercise, diet, school, and not timing every physical interaction.
On the other hand: Life is not fair. Fertility isn’t fair. Being angry about it is a useless waste of time
Doesn’t stop me from being angry.
Seven days ago we did IUI. The ultrasound showed two follicles ready to go, and my Husband’s sperm count was apparently great. Basically, we know that all of the necessary components were in the right place at the right time. We will know if I am pregnant next week.
I am so completely and utterly all in: I catch myself talking to my abdomen when i’m alone in the car, and my Husband has (thankfully rarely) been referring to me as his “maybe baby mama”. I don’t even want to voice the “if” factor out loud, I just want to believe that this is it, after five years and so much frustration and sorrow this is it.
I’m not even going to say the if thoughts here, I just want for this baby to join us in nine months.
Unsurprisingly, I am not pregnant after round 4 of letrozole, so we are on to the IUI end of things. I have another trans vaginal ultrasound on the 20th of April, then i’m assuming the procedure will happen a few days later. I don’t know what i’m feeling right now, I wrote a final exam (the last one for my masters, my final course is all assignments, no exams), and now I have wine… since I cannot possibly put a fetus at risk, i’m thoroughly enjoying my Reisling blend.
I am nervous about IUI – it is by no means the most expensive thing, but its a whole other intervention step beyond just taking a medication.
I’m scared, I’m worried, I’m sad, I’m hopeful.
We had our second appointment with the new (improved) fertility specialist earlier today. I feel like such a failure when I admit that we are not pregnant, that the first three rounds of letrozole were ineffective. Apparently letrozole alone has about an 8% rate of fertility, but if we add IUI we move up to 25%. That is different from the stats I understood from the research I read, but it is possible that they were based on the whole sample over 6 months – if 25% of them got pregnant over the full 6 months of treatment, that may make sense statistically. Stats have never been my strong point, and my time working in a research lab only made me understand how much they can be manipulated to avoid a null result. I tend to think most published research needs to be taken with a grain of salt/understanding of bias.
I know that things are no worse now than they were this morning, I know that we already had all this info, and I know we already knew the next step was IUI and that we would likely need to go there. I mean, technically, we could still get pregnant this round – I should be ovulating in the next week. The timing is not great, I have to be away this weekend, but I think we can make it work, cover the spread, so to speak.
Oh language, you’re funny and frequently dirty sounding.
Basically although nothing changed because of this appointment, I feel worse. I just want to melt away for a while, and not exist. Even though I know it’s not something I can control, I still feel like a failure on a very basic level.
We will probably do our first round of IUI in April.
I just finished the fifth day of round four of letrozole. I’ve also been taking the full dosage of the herbal supplement that my acupuncturist has given me. The combination of the two is making me feel pretty lousy. I’m just generally sore, like joint sore through my shoulders hips and knees. Also I am noticing some attention deficits – like i’m not as able to attend to what is going on around me as I usually can. I have to work harder when i’m doing basic things like driving.
I have considered whether it’s all in my head – as in its some sort of symptoms of depression. But I don’t think it is. Although i’ve had some shitty days, for the most part my mood has levelled out and I don’t think that is playing a factor in the overall physical soreness.
I m feeling crazy burnt out. I feel like the fertility stuff – the need to time medications, and sex, and the fact that it is sitting and dominating every action I take – is taking up 75% of my energy, and I somehow need to find room for school, work, exercise, my Husband, an social life, in the other 25% of whatever energy a limited sleep schedule allows. Work in particular is stressful – I’m still building practice at the second clinic. It is growing, just a lot slower than I would have wished. I think in the long run it will work out, but it will take another several months to get it close to where I need it to be. In the meantime I just have to be very careful about our household budget, because I took a financial hit when I quit my full time but shitty job last year to try to build something better. The first clinic is about as busy as I want it to be, i’m there 15-25 hours a week, which leaves me with the time I need to build the second one.
It will be fine, the soreness will pass, it will get better, I will have time…
My mantra gets longer and more detailed…